Meeting the needs of your community and building a successful business can sometimes be accomplished simultaneously, especially with assistance from the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF.
Mr. Jacquelyn Daquin came to the FSBDC at UCF seeking assistance with refinancing the mortgage on his business property. Mr. Daquin, the owner of Haitian Quality Services, provides a range of fee-based services for residents in the West Orlando community. Services are provided in French, Creole, and Spanish, and include immigration, bail bond, divorce, document translation, language interpreting, tax preparation, business assistance, college and employment applications etc.
The business began because Mr. Daquin saw a need in the community: residents wanted to better their lives and take advantage of economic opportunities but were struggling with the language barrier and limited education. Mr. Daquin, who obtained his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida and is also a Certified Respiratory Therapist, started offering services in a limited capacity. The business grew as the company’s reputation soared and his services were sought after.
With this in mind, Mr. Daquin decided to purchase a property to house the business, and use the revenue from the business to renovate and expand the facility. Unfortunately, before the renovation was completed, he ran out of funds and was forced to accept a very high interest rate mortgage to complete the project. He paid this mortgage for several years before deciding that, if he could substantially reduce the monthly payments, he could grow the business and possibly hire more people, hence the desire to refinance the mortgage.
Mr. Daquin applied to several banks and was denied. It was then that he was referred to Pauline Davis, a certified business consultant at the FSBDC at UCF. She reviewed his information and assisted him with preparing a business plan, cash flow projections and accompanying financial documents to complete a revised loan package. He was once again referred to the bank and was once again denied the loan.
At that juncture, the FSBDC at UCF’s Davis contacted the banker for an explanation of the denial, and was told Mr. Daquin had credit issues. A further review of his credit records showed that there were errors and unexplained items on the report, and that he had a better credit history than represented by the report. With that understood, he was referred to the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) for their specialized loan program. The SFBDC and BBIF worked with the client to address his credit issues and business needs, and BBIF finally refinance the property.
Mr. Daquin is so grateful for the assistance and states, “There was no way I could have gotten the loan without Pauline Davis at the FSBDC. I could not understand why I was being denied; she patiently assisted me with the business plan and through the process. She is truly a “STAR” and my business and the community will be eternally grateful.” To show his gratitude Mr. Daquin gave her a plaque on behalf of his business and the community. He is very optimistic about his future and growing the business.